Quick cybersex chats

For the first time in the history of the world, the global connectivity of the Internet means that you don’t have to be in the same country as someone to sexually menace that person.

The problem of this new sex crime of the digital age, fueled by ubiquitous Internet connections and webcams, is almost entirely unstudied. Brock Nicholson, head of Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta, Georgia, recently said of online sextoriton, “Predators used to stalk playgrounds.

In at least one case, he posted nude photos of a victim on the Myspace account of a friend of the victim, which Mijangos had also hacked, after she refused to comply with his demands.

The malicious software he employed provided access to all files, photos, and videos on the infected computers.

And if they did, he would then threaten them further, notifying them that he knew they had told someone.

Mijangos’ actions constitute serial online sexual abuse—something, we shall argue, akin to virtual sexual assault.

As the prosecutor said in the case, Mijangos “play[ed] psychological games with his victims” His victims reported signs of immense psychological stress, noting that they had “trouble concentrating, appetite change, increased school and family stress, lack of trust in others, and a desire to be alone.” * * * As bizarre as the Mijangos case may sound, his conduct turns out to be not all that unusual.

We tend think of cybersecurity as a problem for governments, major corporations, and—at an individual level—for people with credit card numbers or identities to steal.

The average teenage or young-adult Internet user, however, is the very softest of cybersecurity targets.

More often, it involves manipulation and trickery on social media.

But at the core of the crime always lies the intersection of cybersecurity and sexual coercion.

The perpetrator wanted a pornographic video of the victim.

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